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Ask a Track Bike! 

Wednesday, May 31 2006
Welcome back, kids! I have exciting news: The drunk and sweaty ass riding on top of me has changed, but the wee little bike underneath — striving for velocity and truth — remains the same. And much to my joy, many of you have sent in questions. I feel the love. Now let's get to your inquiries:

Q: Dear Ephraim,

Are hipsters content to be confined to the Mission, the Castro, and the Haight? How else can they get over the hills to see other areas of San Francisco on their one-speed bikes?


One Less Fixie in the Mission

A: Dear Fixie,

First things first: Hipsters don't live in the Castro. See, homosexuals live there, and sadly, homosexuality hasn't been cool since the mid to early '90s, which is counterintuitive to the hipster agenda. Unless a David Lynch film is screening at the Castro Theatre or someone's coke dealer refuses to deliver, you'll find nary a hipster in the Castro. But to your question: Why would a hipster bother with seeing the other areas of the city? S.F. is the Mission and the Haight for the hip. Everywhere else might as well be prefixed with 510 or 650 area codes.

Q: Dear Ephraim,

Maybe I'm reading too much into your writing, but you sound unhappy in your current relationship. Maybe you should come home with me. I have a great little nook in my entryway, between the Morricone soundtracks and My Bloody Valentine records,* where you'd fit perfectly. I have a fridge full of Sparks, lots of Patrick Swayze movies, and, of course, great vegan leftovers from work. We could be so happy together. I don't mind your little dings and imperfections.** I promise not to dress you up with gaudy colored rims and try to sell you on Craigslist in three months for an outrageous sum. Really.

*The Morrissey records have their own place. If anyone asks, I keep forgetting to trade them in.

**You are old and some obscure make, right? Otherwise, forget it.



A: Dear Howard,

Of course I'm unhappy. Just look at me; I'm a wisp of a bike! If I had it my way, I'd be a cute little pea-green sports car, hugging the curves of a winding hill in Sonoma for a weekend. But instead I'm hung upside down next to a row of porta-potties at Zeitgeist. "Unhappy" merely scratches the surface of my tormented emotions ... just like the hip! And although a change in locale sounds nice, you lost me with "vegan leftovers." Throw in a couple of roommates with insatiable appetites for crystal meth, though, and we might have a deal.

Q: Dear Ephraim the Track Bike,

Was the woman on a track bike that rear-ended me on Market Street (the sound of a skipping rear tire and a female voice saying "Shit, shit, SHIT!", then a view of the curb) a hipster?


Phil the Commuter Bike

A: Dear Phil,

Chortle. In a more Big Brother-y world, I'd be watching you take that hit for the 343,285th time on YouTube right now. Alas.

Was she a hipster? Sure sounds like it. Many hipsters aren't as skilled in using me as bike messengers or riders with average body weights. That woman really should've known better than to ride her accessory. She should've taken a tip from the gaggles of mustache-sporting scenesters who walk up and down Valencia Street carrying pristine skateboards. Like the boards, bikes like hers are meant as showpieces to be locked up in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters.

Send hipster-related questions to

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Ephraim the Track Bike


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